Monday, April 28, 2014

one of those nights...

you know those moments in life,
when you stop, look around and think, 
"i want to remember this" ?

sometimes they're big, defining moments:
proposals, job offers, births
aaaaand sometimes they're not-so-"big", but equally special moments
friday night was a bunch of the latter strung together for me

after a particularly challenging day with the kiddos
daniel came home and suggested we try out the girlies' new wagon
(that our awesome neighbor gifted to us the night before - thanks, neighbor!)

let me just stop and say, this man knows my heart well
he knows that getting me outside and moving is a sure-fire way to lift my spirits
even when i'm being a big grump-face
and i'm standing there with my hair all up in a crazy, frizzy bun (the size of my HEAD)
still in my jams from the night before, 
drowning in piles of laundry that i've sworn to conquer before the day's end

and so we laced up our runners 
loaded the kids into their wagon
and headed out in search of adventure

we let the kids pick which direction we should head
and wound our way through neighborhoods we've never seen before
until we eventually found ourselves at a grocery store
where we picked up dinner and began the journey home

but then we thought:
why not sit down right where we were,
on a random grassy patch on the side of the road
and have an impromptu picnic?
the girlies were thrilled about the idea
so we handed out food, sat back and enjoyed the dinner in the great outdoors
(i realize roadside meals are hardly "the great outdoors" compared to say, camping,
but  you gotta take what you can get, right?  right.)

the sun began to set and cast a stunning glow on everything in sight
the girlies showed off to any and all passerbys
and we filled the air with laughter and conversation 

we continued chatting away on our way home after we ate
the wind picked up
we threw our outer layers on the kids to keep 'em warm
and settled for t-shirts and goosebumps on our own arms
the girlies got into the chocolate bar I had picked up for dessert,
we laughed about it and didn't bother wiping off their newly acquired chocolate beards
i looked over to daniel and said,
"thank you. this was such a great idea. 
and i love the light at this time of day, 
it makes everything that much more beautiful, even the traffic!"

p.s. all of these photos were snapped on my phone - how awesome is technology sometimes?!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

struggles + leaning on the everlasting arms

hi friends, 
i've been meaning to put together a blog post for a while now
about the reason i can be a bit distant sometimes
about the things that have been weighing down on my heart
about tears that have silently crept down my face
and long nights spent thinking instead of sleeping

it all sounds very dramatic, but it's mostly just everyday things 
that i have allowed to creep in and steal my joy:
parenting struggles, insecurities, dealing with change, hearing of others' deep and painful loss, stress...

i've struggled to practically trust in the lord lately
(i know it in my head, but sometimes my heart needs are reminder...)
and my heart can seem so ultra-tender at times - it just aches as things add up
then my head steps in and tells my heart to toughen up, 
but all that means is that i wait till i'm behind closed doors to mull over it
and, hopefully, to bring it to Jesus
which is exactly what i finally made a point to do last week
and boy am i glad that i did

what a relief it was to have my burden's lifted
and to be reminded that no matter what happens, good or bad,
He is in control, and i can trust in Him and in His goodness 
even (or rather especially) when my heart is heavy with fear, anxiety and grief

i was also reminded that in those specific times i should cling more than ever to His word

so, how do i practically do this?

well, for starters, i follow a great daily Bible reading plan
there are tons of good ones out there - some with more reading, some with less
if this one is too much reading for you on a day-to-day basis,
 i encourage you to find a plan that works for you
there are so many different options out there!
(feel free to get in touch with me if you need some direction in finding one)

i also like to have reminders of God's word tucked here and there:
for example, i often scribble encouraging verses onto scrap paper
and scatter them around the house, to find later
(journals, on my bedside table, my workspace etc ...i even have a couple in my wallet!)
sometimes, i'll write them up all pretty and stick 'em to the fridge or on my to-do list,
since i know i'll be looking at those two places often

another tool i've been using (and loving!) is my 50 Promises flashcards,
which are 50 verses printed in pretty fonts with colorful backgrounds
that i just keep propped up in the kitchen (since that's always been the "hub" of our house)
they're a nice little addition to our "decor"
plus they constantly remind me of truth and encourage my heart
here are a couple that i've "cashed in" lately:
     Matthew 6:30                                                          Philippians 4:19

(oh and there's one in this post too!)

it is such a blessing to renew my mind when life starts to feel overwhelming!
anyway, i hope this post leaves you feeling encouraged
feel free to chime in and share how you work scripture into your everyday life.
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